The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

69° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson ‘African Soul’ band collaborates with Bernard Woma

    A collaboration in African dance music from Tucson to Ghana is happening this weekend at Solar Culture Gallery.

    The Tucson-based band Key Ingredients of African Soul is joining forces with African musical maestro Bernard Woma and the Saakumu dance troupe to explore contemporary and traditional African music and dance.

    Woma, a traditional African xylophonist and world renowned drummer, has played with the likes of vocalist Maya Angelou and cellist Yo Yo Ma, as well as U.S. President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth II. On President Barack Obama’s visit to Ghana, Woma served as the Obama family’s cultural resource person.

    Key Ingredients of African Soul band member Michael Olson, known onstage as Dr. Twang, plays marimba and guitar, and  said that he is excited to play a concert with Woma.

    “”When I have an opportunity to put together something artistic that will turn people’s heads, I jump on it,”” Olson said.

    Olson sees Solar Culture Gallery as an ideal venue for this upcoming concert, especially given Key Ingredients of African Soul’s special requirements.

    “”It’s very, very intimate but they have excellent technical support,”” Olson said. “”With a 13-piece band, our stage logistics are pretty complicated.””

    Steve Eye, the director of Solar Culture Gallery, looks forward to this concert as bringing some pretty big players to Tucson at a venue that’s inclusive.

    “”You don’t have to read it in the news, you can see a guy actually performing right here,”” Eye said.

    Overall, both Eye and Olson see this event as a way to bring people together.

    “”My path in life is to bring people and cultures together and to connect the dots, to illuminate the connections between cultures and different styles of music,”” Olson said. “”People should come to experience the connection between traditional and contemporary African dance and music.””

    Eye sees this event as another way for the public to inform themselves and enrich their understanding of culture.

    “”It’ll be a great cultural experience, which is really important in our lives. We need the inspiration of culture to see what’s going on around the world,”” Eye said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search